Managing Your Mouse in Windows 7

March 4, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Your mouse is your friend. There are many ways in which it can be used, but ultimately your mouse is the single most important input device you have for your computer, allowing you to browse the web, open programs, delete items and even play games. While your keyboard can also be used for most of these tasks (as well as entering text) the presence of your pointing device is the difference between using a computer and using a tablet.

Whether you use a trackball or a mouse, the Windows 7 Mouse Properties screen is the place to go if you want to alter the way your pointing device works.

Managing Your Mouse in Windows 7

From adding new pointers to changing the speed of motion, the properties screen allows you to fully customize your pointing experience.

Opening Windows 7 Mouse Properties

Accessible via Start > Search – just type mouse and click the first result – the Mouse Properties box consists of five tabs:

Buttons – configure the way in which the mouse buttons are be used

Pointers – set a custom mouse pointer

Pointer Options – control speed, movement and precision

Wheel – affect the degree of scrolling

Hardware – access to your mouse device driver

These tabs offer potentially powerful changes to the way you use your mouse in Windows 7, and can be used to tailor your pointing experience to your own particular needs.

For instance if you’re left handed, you can use the Button configuration on the Buttons tab to Switch primary and secondary buttons by simply placing a check in the box. This will result in the left mouse button being used like a right mouse button, and vice-versa.

Similarly, you can alter the Double-click speed with a simple slider and also activate a function called ClickLock which makes dragging and highlighting easier by requiring only a brief click of the mouse button rather than a heavy “left-click and drag”.

Mouse Pointers and Pointer Options

You can customize your mouse pointer meanwhile with a range of options. First of all you can alter the way your mouse pointer looks by altering the Scheme on the Pointers tab; different mouse pointers and pointer types (for instance one mouse pointer might have a corresponding hand pointer for clicking webpage links) are available in different themes. You can also enable or disable the pointer’s shadow.

More Pointer Options are available on the next tab, where you can Select a pointer speed, activate Snap To in order to force the mouse pointer to appear above the default button of a dialogue box and also set various Visibility settings such as toggling whether to Display pointer trails and Hide pointer while typing.

Finally if you’re using a nice up-to-date mouse you will find that the Wheel tab offers you the ability to adjust how Vertical Scrolling behaves, and if your wheel is afforded a left-to-right tilt, Horizontal Scrolling can also be adjusted.

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